Nurse job satisfaction and patient satisfaction in the emergency department
The study investigated the relationship between nurses' job satisfaction and patients' satisfaction with nursing care in a private for-profit and a private not-for-profit emergency department (ED) in the Southwestern United States. Nurses' intent to remain with the institution and patients' intent to return or to recommend the ED were additional aspects of the study. An availability sample included 41 emergency nurses and 140 patients. Two established satisfaction instruments (Index of Work Satisfaction and Consumer Emergency Care Satisfaction Scale) in addition to a researcher-developed demographic form were used for data collection.
The theoretical framework was based on Maslow's (1970) Hierarchy of Human Needs Theory and Vroom's (1964) Expectancy Theory. The theoretical propositions derived from the framework were as follows. When nurses' expectations are met and job satisfaction occurs, nurses are more likely to remain with the institution. When patients' expectations are met and satisfaction occurs, patients are more likely to return or to recommend the institution. When nurses indicate job satisfaction, patients are more likely to be satisfied.
Hypotheses one and two were analyzed using descriptive statistics and hypotheses three and four were analyzed using 2-Way Analysis of Variance. Patients at both hospitals reported high levels of satisfaction with nursing care. No relationship was found between nurses' job satisfaction and patients' satisfaction irrespective of hospital type.
No significant difference was found between patients' satisfaction scores in the two hospitals. Patients who stated their intent to return or to recommend the ED reported higher levels of satisfaction with nursing care than patients who do not intend to return or to recommend. The majority of patients at both hospitals intend to return for future health care and to recommend the hospital to family and friends.
All nurse job satisfaction components were below the 50th quartile indicating job dissatisfaction. Yet, the majority of nurses expressed their intent to remain with the institution. No relationship was found between nurses' job satisfaction, hospital type, and intent to remain with the institution. Findings indicated nurses' satisfaction scores were low irrespective of nurses' intent to remain with the institution.